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Clarisonic Skin Cleanser Cracks $40M in Sales on Kudos From Oprah and YouTube Beauty Queen

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$225 model that can clean the face and other parts of the body, and a lower-end $149 model that is “cute and tiny,” Giuliani says. The company maintains active R&D at its Bellevue offices, but Giuliani wouldn’t say anything in detail about any new products Clarisonic has in the pipeline.

The company has two distinct markets it is pursuing now. One is with professional dermatologists, who use the device to clean patients’ skin before they undergo ultraviolet treatments for acne, or spas like Gene Juarez that use it to prep customers for facials, or microdermabrasions. The other market segment is through high-end retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue, Sephora, and Nordstrom.

So far, no direct competitors have entered this market yet, and no big players have shown they are making a serious R&D effort, Giuliani says. It could be that these huge skin-care players, like Olay from Procter & Gamble, consider $40 million in annual revenue to be such small potatoes that it’s not worth their time, Giuliani says.

“The real competition is with how people are used to spending their money on facial care,” Giuliani says. “This is still a new way of treating the skin.”

Giuliani isn’t shying away from comparing his new company to the success with Sonicare. He noted that Clarisonic’s offices today are in the very same building from Sonicare’s early days, a 1970s-style, low-rise office and industrial area a few blocks from I-90.

He clearly has high ambitions for Clarisonic, and they appear to have grown over time. Back in 2004, he told The Seattle Times he planned to be less involved with the operations of Clarisonic than he was with Sonicare, and that he’d quit once the skin-care product was on the market for six months.

Five years later, he’s still the CEO. Now 63, Giuliani says he likes to skip from project to project at the company, getting personally involved in R&D, marketing, and manufacturing—whatever is needed at a given phase. When I asked if he plans to sell the company, he made it sound like he’s in no hurry to hand over the reins.

“We’re still at the beginning,” Giuliani says. “We’ve only reached a fraction of the potential.”

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  • oprah is 100% responsible and their marketing team,
    anyone else mentioned just jump on a band wagon as an opportunist

    The marketing budget was already done, anyone who adopted it is simply impressionable and actually wrong as the better product has already been identified

  • hmm

    i didn’t buy the clarisonic because of oprah, it was people like michelle who recommended it. oh and michelle came up with the electric toothbrush cleansing method way before clarisonic became a household staple. i dont think people like michelle is a band wagon opportunist. she is beyond a beauty guru.

  • Cornbiscut

    Michelle Phan is annoying and I watch her videos to find out what exactly not to buy.

  • Zella

    Not totally related but …

    Michelle’s cool but I don’t think she’s that great of a make up artist. She’s only up there because she’s been online for so long and a lot of people knows her. if she just started, her videos won’t be as popular as they are now.

    It’s great to see her grow though… I remember when she first started her make up videos and she was still using her fingers or those little wands that comes in packaging to apply all her shadows.

  • lina

    Michelle is a great artist. She’s working on the Michael Kors makeup for fashion week. The videos where she’s using those little wands were there to help basic people who had basic tools. Hence, Basic smoney eye video. Using fingers? Makeup artists uses fingers all the time, it warms up the foundation. She has come a long way, and not she’s finally getting creditials. I disagree, her videos are getting more and more popular. She’s the only guru on youtube that puts out more effort in editing. They’re like mini movies.